Album Review: Fear of Men – Fall Forever

By on Thursday, 23rd June 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

Fear of Men Fall Forever album coverFilled with spacious and heart-wrenching instrumentation accompanied with yearning vocals, the second album from Brighton-based Fear of Men is as rich as their debut, while showing an evolution that proceeds nicely into the next step of their career. Shimmering effects that are layered over every aspect of the tracks gives a Cocteau Twins-esque atmosphere, this is a record that truly reaches into your heart and attacks every string possible.

As the opening track ‘Vesta’ builds into an ethereal purgatory, it leads into second track ‘Undine’ with no real resolve, giving the effects of an unsuspected emotional trauma. It’s in this follow-up track that Fear of Men break into their stride and prove that they can be as firm and furious as they can be forlorn. ‘Island’ sees a fully-formed sound that breathes tranquility, while retaining purpose and direction. A rolling drum beat that lies beneath the electronically-driven instrumentation that scintillates, calling to mind an image of the sun rippling through a calm ocean surrounding the enclosed metaphorical island. The chorus builds to a perfect resolve that equally leaves you satisfied as well as melancholic.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-I9oU8764k[/youtube]

Continuing along this trend, ‘A Memory’ doesn’t quite have the draw of the preceding track, but it certainly plays its part in the bigger picture. It’s a similar story for ‘Until You’, which proves a lot more assaulting, with its layered drums that are constantly rolling while the synthesisers build to an overbearing level before dropping out and chaotically interchanging their dominance. We lull slightly at the halfway point with ‘Ruins’, but the move makes sense once ‘Trauma’ kicks in. It’s another purpose driven track, firm with its eyes staring straight ahead. The chorus builds as expected, before dropping into a dark and brooding bridge that takes the life away from the song but still keeps you hooked in.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8IM_3N6TJE[/youtube]

Throughout, the drums are the pickers of the pace. Obviously, this is the overall idea of the rhythm section in any piece of music. But within Fear of Men’s sound, the drums go from being the underlier to instantaneously being the leader, furiously ripping through the rest of the instrumentation. Jess Weiss’ vocals sit on the top of the arrangements like a beacon, guiding the emotional range of the tracks with either the previously shown yearning or the subtle aggression as shown in ‘Trauma’.

Yet it’s truly the electronic elements of this record that show the strength of the band, with thick and emotive synthesisers that are coupled with effect laden guitars, it’s all prime retro emulation and something that Fear of Men do extremely well. ‘Fall Forever’ certainly is an apt title for this collection of songs, each track representing a different strength of the human psyche, while opening up enough for you to gather your own interpretation and personal attachment. A wonderful take on ‘80s sad, electronic music with a modern angle, Fear of Men should have no problem taking things to the next level after this solid return.

7/10

‘Fall Forever’, Fear of Men’s sophomore album, is out now via Kanine Records. To read more about Fear of Men on TGTF, head here.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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